Why Use Raw Honey – What Are The Benefits?
Raw honey is simply honey that hasn't been heated, processed or pasteurized at all. The real differences between pasteurized honey and raw honey are very important. Raw honey is a nutritious food that has many natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential natural nutrients. These healthy nutrients are destroyed when honey is heated during the pasteurization process. Actually, pasteurized honey is just about the same as unhealthy refined sugar.
Unfortunately, most people like to buy crystal clear, clean looking honey because they do not know about the benefits of raw honey. Most of the time, raw honey is not readily available on most supermarket shelves. Raw, unfiltered honey normally crystallizes to a very thick consistency just after a couple of months. Don't worry about it if it does, because the honey is still good to eat and still very delicious. It's great to use as a spread for muffins, breads and pancakes. This type of honey can also be mixed in hot tea or coffee.
Benefits of Raw Honey
Many times, raw honey that is unfiltered can only be bought right from a bee farm. This type of honey appears cloudier and has very fine textured crystals. It contains small flecks and particles of bee pollen, propolis (resinous mixture), honeycomb bits, and sometimes bee wing pieces. It's important to note that propolis has more than one hundred and eighty compounds in it, which includes caffeic acid phenethyl ester, and this compound has shown that it can inhibit the growth of cancer.
This kind of honey contains high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that can stop oxidation and neutralize the effects of free radicals that can cause problems for the body. Boosting the body's antioxidant levels often helps to protect against cellular damage and also to stop the progression of many chronic diseases.
Honey that hasn't been processed has several anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. It is an anti-inflammatory and expectorant, which means it works very well for treating respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis. The benefits of raw honey do not end there. It can also stabilize blood pressure levels, relieve pain, balance sugar levels, soothe nerves, and it's very effective for treating ulcers.
Additionally, it promotes digestive health, has bacterial fighting qualities, improves the immune system, reduces allergy symptoms, is a very good treatment for skin wounds, as well as other kinds of infections. Local unprocessed honey is recommended for the treatment of seasonal allergies because the chances are high that the honey will have small quantities of the specific pollens that the person is allergic to.
Unfiltered honey can actually pre-digest starches when it is put on bread for about fifteen minutes. The amylase enzyme starts to breakdown the complex starches/sugars in the bread and this makes it easier for the body to digest. This is quite beneficial for people who have digestive problems.